I read an interesting nugget of sports psychology in December's Runner's World. It was one of those little sidebars that take up space after an article. The recommendation from psychologist Neal Bowes was to be process-focused rather than outcome-focused.
For example, the outcome-focused runner focuses on "a highly ambitious, perhaps unrealistic, time goal. The process-focused runner bases her time goal on "training runs and recent races. She also focuses on mind-set, pacing, fueling, and nutrition." Another example: outcome-focused runners "measure race-day success in terms of times and placing. If you miss a goal time, you feel like a failure." The processed-focused runner "measures race-day success based partly on times and placing, but also on the experience-what you can learn and how you can apply it to future races."
I'm taking this with me this weekend. My main goal for this race is to be a practice run for Houston. I'm going to take note of things like hydration on Saturday, what I eat on Friday AND Saturday, how long I spend on my feet at the expo on Saturday, what time I eat Saturday night, laying out my stuff and packing my bag, did I forget something?, bathroom breaks, getting up early, sleeping late on Saturday, all those details. And during the race, I'm going to concentrate on my effort, not my pace. I have some half marathon experience and I remember the effort it takes to not leave anything out there but still have some for those last couple miles. I want to hit that effort for this race, no matter what the final time is. One unknown I'm using for the first time is Endurolytes. I've never taken them on a run before. I got some on Thursday and I'm going to pop a couple halfway through. It looks to be a warm one so I'm thinking that sodium replacement is going to help. Of course, there's always the chance, trying something new, that it could cause me problems. If it does, I'll learn from that.
Then when it's all over, I want to PARTY. I've never really been around after a race when the middle of the pack is finishing. It's often the case that lots of people have already left by the time I cross the finish. I'm kind of glad I'm doing the half in that respect. At least some halfers will still be around and a good bulk of full marathoners will just be finishing. I'll be there for all the hoopla!!! Man, I hope I see a bunch of Houston peeps. That's going to be great.
So, we're about to get on the road. See you guys at the expo or the race. If you're not on Twitter, GET ON!!!